happy man with floor scrubber machine looking at camera near multiethnic women cleaning office.

How to Make Money With an Office Cleaning Business

If you are looking for a side hustle that will not take up a lot of your time, knowing how to Make Money with an office cleaning business is an excellent option.

The main advantage is that you can start small and expand over time as soon as your customer base increases.

How to Make Money With an Office Cleaning Business

Additionally, it involves low overhead costs, and it’s something you can do on the side even if you have a full-time job. If you’re interested in doing this, we’ll walk you through the processes, advantages, and how to make most of it. Read on.

Overview: Getting Started on Office Cleaning

Before you get started, it’s essential to know that an office cleaning business is like any other out there. For this reason, there are things you need to keep in mind. Whether you’ll be cleaning small or large spaces, your job will be to transform surfaces into clean places for the overall user experience.

An office cleaning company provides a wide array of activities, including;

  • Cleaning lobbies
  • High-pressure washing
  • Cleaning after a disaster
  • Glazing
  • Maintenance of premises
  • Commercial disinfection

Market Research

As you mull over getting started with your office cleaning business, be sure to do industry research to assess the viability of the undertaking. You can research within your town and find out if there is a demand for cleaning services. However, do not be scared off if there are many providers of such services as customer satisfaction fuels the growth of any business.

There is no need to worry if you have no capital to get you off the ground. You can start by offering cleaning services to friends and family and ask for their candid opinion. You may offer free services to a cleaning company to have an idea of the type of things you need to get started.

At the research stage, you’ll decide on the type of services you need to offer to your clients. These can range from the basic clean-up of lobbies, kitchens, open spaces, and conference rooms.

Additionally, with a large budget, you may broaden your activities to include cleaning for large spaces such as;

  • Industrial buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Government offices
  • Event centers
  • Recreation and shopping centers
  • Banking offices
  • Residential floor cleaning

You can also purchase an existing franchise, though this may require a lot of capital commitment.

For instance, it can cost you between $10,000 to $50,000. However, it’s a lucrative business that comes with royalties, but you’ll be responsible for customer retention, administration, and billing.

Whatever option you choose, you must study the market first because no business is too large or small to start. It all boils down to strategy.

Have your Budget Ready

Getting your finances ready is the next stage when starting an office cleaning business. Depending on your approach, the start-up cost can be meager. You don’t need to borrow initially but can start on a shoestring budget not exceeding $500.

Here is a breakdown of the start-up costs for a small business which are simply tentative figures that may vary depending on your supplier.

Item Cost
Mops and Pads $50
Broom and dustpan $30
Vacuum $300
Cleaning detergent $30
Cleaning caddy $30
Others such as towels $40
Business cards and flyers $20
Total $500

As you can see, the cost is relatively low, and with such a budget, you can start cleaning small offices. You can drop costs even more if you get a majority of supplies at your local Dollar Tree Store. They have a ton of great things for $1.25 that you would find useful.

The cost of supplies can dramatically skyrocket if you buy single items. Therefore, if you are cleaning several offices in a week, you can order from Costco or Sam’s Club stores. Without a doubt, you’ll enjoy massive discounts, thereby reducing your operational expenses.

As your business grows, you will need to scale up your operations by acquiring equipment whose cost may run into hundreds of dollars. Other expenses such as business license, taxation, marketing, staff costs, and taxation will come into play.

For this you may spend up to $10,000 to acquire special equipment including;

  • Floor waxing machines
  • Floor washers
  • Commercial mops
  • Cleaning buckets
  • Cleaning and service vans
  • Safety equipment

Think About Transportation

Transportation is a significant expense for an office cleaning business. It may not be a problem when starting because the cleaning supplies are few and can easily fit in the trunk.

However, if you are doing several rounds in a week, you’ll need a van that can accommodate everything. As well, if you have a team that works for you, you’ll need even a bigger car, probably a truck. Therefore, it’s vital to have a transportation plan, estimate the expense, and determine whether it’s viable.

For a small business, hiring a van may cost you up to $500 per month, while a truck can exceed $2000 depending on the days hired. 

Minimize Rentals

Rentals and equipment can quickly add up, especially if you pay service costs for specialized machines. Storage costs can also increase your overall expenses if you decide to let a warehouse. You can store your supplies in your garage and avoid these costs when starting.

However, if you live in an apartment, you can look for a cheap rental to keep the items. It’s advisable to hold off some of these costs until your business picks up.

Identify Your Target Market

When starting small, your target market will be your friends, colleagues, and family. Talk to them and let them know you are offering cleaning services.

You can also ask for referrals, give out your cards and flyers, and spread the word out. Engage in friendly conversations with the grocery store owner, the gas station attendants, the candy shop keeper, or your child’s school principal.

Leave your business cards in many other places and let them know your value proposition. During your free time, navigate the business directory in your area and get on the phone to different offices.

Know your limits or boundaries and map out the area so that you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Research the Competition

Truth be told! The competition will always be around regardless of the business opportunity. Researching the competition is a fundamental aspect when starting an office cleaning business. It would be best if you stay focussed on your business while keeping an eye on what the competitors are doing.

Mostly, big names dominate the janitorial cleaning business, and these are the ones you’ll be competing with. Whereas it may be challenging to edge them out, narrow down your options to include small businesses with limited budgets. For example, a small grocery store next door may not enlist a large company to clean up.

Be cautious with your approach as this can get you off on the right foot.


Even though it’s critical to be versatile in any business, it’s important to identify your strong area and specialize in it with time. For example, if you are efficient in carpet cleaning, you can specialize along that line.

Other areas of specialization may include cleaning commercial kitchens, grout cleaning, and eco-friendly cleaning.

Nonetheless, this will require more resources, equipment, and training which may overburden your business. Thus, it would help to weigh the costs vs. the benefits of going that route.

Get the Licenses

Quite often than not, most people who operate briefcase companies don’t consider registering their business as an essential undertaking.

Fair warning: because you’ll be providing your services to other people, contracts will arise, and this is where the legal technicality of the business comes in.

You may find yourself on the wrong side of the law and pay hefty fines or penalties for non-adherence. No matter how small your business, you need to register it before offering your services. The legal requirements around cleaning services may vary from state to state, and the revenue reporting for taxation depends on the business’s nature or extent.

Cleaning a friend’s store for $30 may not constitute a large business, and hence you may be tempted to hold off on the registration aspect. However, if your business brings in hundreds of dollars every week or month, you must register it for taxation purposes.

Whether it’s a sole proprietor, partnership, franchise, or company, there are legal channels you must follow for each type of entity. The bottom line is to separate personal finances from the business.

IRS requirements

Also, because you’ll provide commercial cleaning or janitorial services to offices or premises, the IRS requires a 1099 contract if your income exceeds $600 per year.

During registration, you’ll need to choose a business name. It’s an exciting stage because your name must reflect the services you provide, which is also part of your promotion efforts. In short, the brand name should reflect your business value.

Find Clients

Now that you’ve registered your business, the next step is finding clients and maintaining them.

Besides word of mouth previously mentioned in earlier paragraphs, you can take your marketing effort a notch higher by using formal marketing channels.

Create a website

For starters, create a website for your business so that customers can easily find you. A simple website with a domain name and hosting can cost up to $100 per year.

Hire a web designer to brand the website to match your cleaning business services.

On the up and up, ensure it’s linked to your social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Social media marketing

It’s a good idea to create Ads that will spread your brand messages. The social media platform is a low-cost option that should form a big part of your advertising when starting small.

Newspaper and flyers

You’d be surprised, but advertising on print media is still a popular option for businesses. Mostly, companies still look up newspaper pages when searching for service providers. Therefore, it wouldn’t do any harm to go that route.

Get referrals

This is one thing that people looking to Make Money with an office cleaning business forget. Getting references from previous customers helps in gaining trust from prospective clients. You can ask a few loyal customers if they can provide testimonials for your site.

As you build solid relationships with existing customers, they will promote your services for free by talking about them to other people.

How Much Can You Make With Your Office Cleaning Business?

On average, you can make between $20,000 to $100,000 per year, depending on various variables.

For instance, how much you make depends on the size of your business. But before you come up with a cumulative figure, it’s important to start with the specifics.

According to figures from HomeAdvisor, the commercial cleaning rates for businesses and offices range between $140 to $300 for a 2,000 sq ft space. However, the rates may vary from city to city or state to state, with rates going as high as $1,500 or low as $100. One site service clean-up or deep cleaning can earn you up to $300 for a small office.

Here is a breakdown of the hourly rates for different establishments

Type of premises/Activity Average Hourly Rate
Offices $20 to $80 per hour
Medical office $10 to $40 per hour
Restaurant $20 to $150 per hour.
Light cleaning (dusting and bathroom) $20-$40 per hour
Large commercial kitchen $50-$150 per hour
Restaurant hood $140 to $180 per hour
Exhaust hood cleaning $400 to $430 per hour
Commercial cleaning rates per square foot $0.04 to $0.50 per square foot
Commercial cleaning rates per square foot for larger warehouses $0.05 and $0.15 per square foot
Office building cleaning rates per square foot (smaller offices) $0.07 to $0.15 per square foot
Office building cleaning rates per square foot (Larger offices) Can be lower
Janitorial rates per square foot  $0.15 to $0.25 per square foot

Commercial cleaning services include;

  • Bathrooms and restrooms
  • Public areas such as kitchens and break rooms
  • Surfaces
  • Dusting
  • Disposing of trash

Other extra services for a large cleaning company may include;

  • Appliances cleaning at between $10 to $40 per item
  • Stripping and waxing at $0.30 to $0.50 per square foot
  • Cleaning tile floors at $0.12 to $0.21 per square foot
  • Buffing at $0.04 to $0.12 per square foot
  • Pressure washing at between $0.15 to $0.75 per square foot
  • Trash removal at between $140 to $370
  • Window cleaning at between $40 to $60 per hour

Tips on Making Your Office Cleaning Business Marketable

  • Create customized cleaning plans for your clients
  • Uphold highest industry standards
  • Ensure lines of communication with clients are open all the time
  • Respond to clients’ questions whenever they have concerns
  • Be flexible, offer day and night options
  • Hire professionally trained staff
  • Offer recurring services depending on a customer’s preference. For example, allow for daily, weekly, or monthly clean-ups
  • Inspect clients’ premises using digital tools and offer analytics for inspections and response times.
  • Have a website and remember to include customer testimonials.

To Wrap up How to Make Money with an office cleaning business

An office cleaning business can be lucrative both in the short term and long term. However, there are substantial expenses that you must take into consideration as these can quickly pile up and eat into your revenue.

Regardless of the niche, careful planning, budgeting, customer satisfaction, and marketing can grow your business from a local service venture to a large commercial enterprise. The cleaning industry is on a growth trajectory, and you too can be a part of it.

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Originally posted 2022-03-27 21:59:05.

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